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World Economic Forum launches a new Crypto Sustainability Coalition

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(Kitco News) - The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced the launch of a new Crypto Sustainability Coalition, which will investigate how Web3 and blockchain tools can be utilized to achieve positive climate action. 

The Switzerland-based non-government organization revealed the new coalition on Wednesday, outlining that it will include 30 partners within the intersection of sustainable development and web3, crypto, and blockchain technologies, during a panel discussion titled "Web3's Climate Impact."

Members of the coalition will explore the potential positive impacts technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have on environmental and social agendas. 

"The coalition launch is timely as there is an urgent need to support the decarbonization of cryptocurrency and ensuring the industry is part of the climate solution," Madeleine Hillyer, U.S. media specialist for the WEF, said in a press release. "Furthermore, there needs to be regulatory clarity that promotes web3 innovation, protects consumers, and improves financial inclusion."

To help further these efforts, the coalition will support research and development, share best practices, and influence regulation pertaining to climate-related matters. 

The crypto industry as a whole is relatively energy intensive. Just Bitcoin alone has an annualized carbon footprint equal to the country Greece, and its energy consumption is equivalent to that of the United Arab Emirates, according to the Digiconomist Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.

The coalition will be divided into working groups that will focus on three main areas of interest: energy usage, Web3's potential for climate action, and "On-chain" carbon credits. 

The energy usage group will analyze the crypto industry's consumption of energy and materials to better understand its impact on climate and nature. The Web3 working group will "investigate ways in which web3 innovations could tackle challenges facing the low-carbon transition at the pace required to hit the Paris Agreement's targets." The on-chain carbon credits working group will explore the ability of blockchain-based carbon credits to address the current flaws in global carbon markets.

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The list of partners joining this new endeavor includes Accenture, Avalanche, Avatree, CC Token, Circle, Climate Collective, Crypto Council for Innovation, Emerge, Energy Web Foundation, eToro, EY, Flowcarbon, Heifer International, KlimaDAO, Lukka, NEAR Foundation, Nori, PlanetWatch, Plastiks, Rainforest Partnership, Recykal, ReSeed, Ripple, Solana, Stellar Development Foundation, STEWARD, Sustainable Bitcoin Standard, The Global Brain, Toucan Protocol, University of Lisbon, and Zero Labs.

The wider aim of the coalition is to "foster a broad education campaign on what web3's potential and capacity look like, to better inform governments on how they regulate these technologies and incentivize investment and research into their development," the WEF said. 

This new coalition was made possible by the Crypto Impact and Sustainability Accelerator (CISA), a grant-funded initiative launched by the Forum in January 2022 with a mission to encourage a greater understanding of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts of crypto technologies.

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